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Serve Up an Elegant Dining Room for Less Than $1,000

A Craftsman-era dining room is given a transitional makeover.

When Wayne Hegedus purchased his home, he knew he had a lot of work ahead of him. He's spent a lot of time and effort restoring the majority of the house, but when it came to decorating his dining room, he was stumped. He loves to entertain and wants his dining room to be as refined as the food he serves. Designer Kristan Cunningham, along with design coordinators Dave Sheinkopf and Spencer Anderson, serves up an elegant space, all for $1,000.

Wayne loves his Craftsman-style home but also likes to incorporate some contemporary elements. His current dining table and chairs are a bit modern for the space, so he would like to see something more substantial and appropriate in the room. He likes to entertain and he needs a sideboard for serving. His current window treatments are newspaper, so he definitely needs an attractive solution that will afford privacy and style in the space.

After: A round table highlights the shape of the room.

The design team comes up with a plan that not only gives Wayne the functional dining room he needs, but also the Craftsman-meets-transitional style he likes. First, the room will get a coat of rich, slate-blue paint with camel-colored accents around the top. A new, black chandelier will update the space and replace the old-fashioned one he currently has. A round table and square rug will complement the shape of the room, while a new sideboard will give him a place to serve food and drinks when entertaining. Window seating as well as window treatments will be created to make the most of the interesting bay-shaped window area. Decorative, yet functional elements for the walls will include display shelving for dishes and decorative accents. Here's how the Design on a Dime team creates Wayne's new dining room.

Spencer gets to work creating the custom-upholstered bench for the window area. Because the fabric has a linear pattern, which can be tricky, Spencer covers the end caps for the arms of the piece separately, inserting them after the rest of the piece is covered. He also creates the seat cushion separately by attaching foam, batting and fabric to a piece of MDF board. Dave makes triangular tables to go on either side of the bench. Together the pieces will create a comfortable seating area that fits the window's shape.

Dave spruces up a thrift-store table and chairs set by correcting drips the previous owner left behind in an attempt to refinish them. He uses the mildest solvent he can to get the job done — kerosene in this case — to diminish the appearance of the drips.

The team gives the space privacy using rattan shades that match the ones in the adjoining living room. Decorative drapes are added for a formal feel and are bordered at the bottom with the same fabric used on the dining-chair seats.

A decorative, wall-mounted shelving unit provides a place to showcase tableware. The cozy glow of floor lamps is reflected throughout the room by vertical mirrors on either side of the shelving.

More decorative shelves backed by camel-colored panels flank either side of the entrance to the room and are accented with simple floral arrangements.

A round table calls for a square rug, which can be hard to find. Kristan creates her own using a carpet remnant and binding tape. First, she trims the remnant so that it's square. She then measures out the amount of tape she will need to bind it. After attaching the tape to the edges, she neatly finishes the corners.

The Cost

Thrift store dining set - $145
Bench and end tables - $122

Console - $97

Wall treatment - $74

vertical mirrors
Window treatments - $168

natural wood fiber blinds

window panels--Camel/14435098/63''
Lighting - $108

chandelier, 195339

floor lamps-Alang
Rug - $124

Accessories - $121

white pitcher


Total - $1,000


    • Chandelier from Lowes
    • Rug from Amigo's Flooring
    • Blinds from Cost Plus World Market
    • Dishes from Dishes a la Carte
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